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Providence, Rhode Island

by Maya Reyes

Photography courtesy of Ariana Quihuiz

With a busy routine of school and extracurricular activities, it is sometimes hard to escape the “BU bubble” and venture out into the rest of New England. However, this exploration offers the perfect break from daily city life. A great place to visit is Providence, Rhode Island—and you can do it in a day.

Providence is only an hour and half away by MBTA Commuter Rail, or even faster by Zipcar. It is a smaller college city with a great reputation for its restaurants and local shops.

“The commuter rail is so easy and cheap,” said Kayla Matthews (QST ’18). “And it runs every forty-five minutes or so on Saturdays so it is really easy to get around.”

Both Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) are located on the aptly named College Hill. RISD’s museum has a large collection of student works that are well worth a visit. The museum also houses several collections of antiques and Asian art. There is definitely something for everyone to see at the RISD museum, and the gift shop is always great to stop by. You can easily lose track of time perusing the museum’s gorgeous galleries. Only a short distance away, Brown University’s quintessential brick buildings and small, enclosed campus make for a lovely walk.

“It’s so nice to see other campuses,” said Jazmin Bello (CAS ’18). “It’s so different from BU’s vibe that it’s cool to see how other students live.”

Right next to Brown University’s campus is Thayer Street. This is a must-see shopping area. There are a lot of fun, quirky shops like Pleasant Surprise that offer souvenirs. Warm and bustling cafes to stop into when you need a pick-me-up are the College Hill Cafe or the Meeting St. Cafe.

Flatbread pizza is a favorite among Providence college students. Duck and Bunny is an excellent choice, and it is also well-known for its brunch and cupcake selection. Their bread pudding cupcake is a local favorite. Another hot spot is dessert shop Pastiche in the Federal Hill neighborhood.

Adam Bieda, (CAS ’19) has taken several trips to Providence. What he loves most is the cuisine.

“There’s so much good food in Providence,” said Bieda. “Pastiche is my favorite place to go. They have the best peanut butter brownie I’ve ever had.”

Other places worth visiting include Prospect Terrace Park, which offers scenic views of the city and is an excellent stop for photo-ops. There are also several historical houses to tour like the Nightingale-Brown house and the Governor Henry Lippitt and Stephen Hawkins’ House. The Roger Williams Park Zoo is also just outside of the Providence border.

“Taking day trips is not really something that I think about,” said Matthews. “But, it’s just nice to get away from deadlines and readings for a day. It’s definitely something I want to do more, especially because I graduate soon.”

Day trips are a great way to make new memories with friends and break away from the stress of being on campus 24/7. While Providence is always a good option and so close, New England is full of great one-day destinations.

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